Threadbare Rugs: Moths, Vacuuming, and General Wear

Threadbare rug

Threadbare Rugs: Moths, Vacuuming, and General Wear

So, you’ve noticed your rug is looking a bit threadbare, but you don’t know what the culprit is. Lucky for you, we’ve written this blog so you can identify the cause of damage and act accordingly.

The first cause of threadbare patches is moths.

The moths themselves don’t actually do this damage, it’s really their ravenous larvae. These pests can cause massive amounts of damage. First look on the underside of your rug for larvae. The larvae look like fuzzy yarn or patches of webbing. If you spot what looks like grains of rice, those are eggs- a very bad sign. Next, look for divots in the wool pile that look like holes or white spots. These divots may be small or there may be large threadbare patches depending on if your rug is pure wool or wool mixed with another fiber that moths don’t like as much. Wool rugs are moths’ favorite material to eat. It’s important to have your rug professionally cleaned if you spot moth damage. Make sure to check on rugs that lay in dark places, as these are moths’ favorite breeding grounds. If part of a rug lays under furniture, move it when you check for moths as the pests are most likely to be hiding there. Moths like quiet, dark places with low air circulation and plenty of wool to eat.

The next cause of threadbare rugs is vacuuming.

Improper vacuuming is very harmful to fine rugs, especially the fringes. Most rugs should NOT be vacuumed with the beater brush, especially if they are handmade. If you have been vacuuming a handmade rug with the beater brush, STOP! You may have already caused damage to your rug. So what does vacuum damage look like? Vacuum damage typically causes sprouting, which is when the knot heads become visible after being pulled. The knot heads will appear as little white dots or freckles across the face of your rug. Vacuuming can also cause serious shedding that leaves you with threadbare or thinning patches. In addition, if your fringes look ragged, you can blame vacuuming with the beater brush. Avoid the fringes when vacuuming. If your rug has been damaged by heavy vacuuming, it may be salvageable. Bring it to the experienced professionals at Behnam Rugs for an evaluation to find out if the damage can be reversed or minimized.

Finally, some rugs become threadbare after general wear and tear.

Maybe the rug has been in the family for generations, or it’s in a high traffic area like an entryway. If you have a very fine rug, make sure you are not placing it in an area where it will be constantly trod on. One way to alleviate some of the wear on your rug is to rotate it once a year. This will prevent threadbare patches to some degree. Another issue is not using rug padding. Choosing not to use padding will shorten the life of your rug and result in threadbare patches in areas of stress. In addition, furniture that rests on top of the rug for extended periods of time can wear your rug. Placing coasters under the rug in the spots where furniture rests can relieve tension and make it less likely that the furniture exerts pressure that will damage the rug. Finally, two main causes of threadbare patches are that the rug is not professionally washed every 4 to 5 years, or the rug has been cleaned by carpet cleaners. Never entrust your rug to a carpet cleaner- they will damage it! When it comes to fine, handmade rug cleaning, experience matters. Trust the professionals at Behnam Rugs, we have generations of knowledge, expertise, and care.

How to Vacuum Your Rug

Vacuum Cleaning Rug

How to Vacuum Your Rug

How to vacuum your rug depends on the material and construction of your rug. Flat weaves, handmade rugs, tufted rugs, and machine-made rugs all require different vacuum techniques, as do silk, cotton, wool, viscose, and synthetic fibers. If you learn anything from this article, let it be this: Never vacuum your rug before knowing its construction, material, and how heavy vacuuming will affect it! Know your rug and know your vacuum cleaner to see if they are a good match. Remember, cleaning and janitorial services that offer to clean fine rugs use industrial-grade vacuum cleaners which damage rugs easily in a short time.

So, how can you vacuum your rug safely? Read on to find out…

How to Vacuum Flat Weave Rugs

Flat weave rugs are reversible due to the nature of their construction, and thinner than traditional rugs. For flat weaves, you want to use a vacuum with enough suction to lift dirt, but not so strong as to do damage. This means you should NOT use the beater brush. A brush-less vacuum is the way to go- leave the upright vacuum in the closet. In addition, use your hand to determine the direction of the weave. Do your best to vacuum in the direction of the weave- not against the grain. Be careful with the fringe as well.

How to Vacuum Handmade Rugs

When it comes to handmade rugs, you must consider the fibers it’s made of. To be safe, DO NOT use the beater brush unless you have spoken to a professional first. Call the experts at Behnam Rugs for advice at 972-733-0400.

How to Vacuum Tufted Rugs

Tufted rugs are simpler and faster to make than most other constructions. Most tufted rugs are of lower quality, though there are some that use high quality wool or even silk. These rugs are more likely to shed than other constructions. The problem with this is that sometimes the wool is so processed that it breaks easily, and vacuuming can make this worse. Therefore, it’s safer NOT to use the beater brush. Another option is to use the upholstery attachment in the direction of the pile.

How to Vacuum Machine-Made Rugs

Machine-made rugs are generally sturdier than handmade. This means that it is okay to use the beater brush, as long as the rug is not made of real silk or any other natural fiber. Avoid vacuuming the fringes with the beater bar though.

How to Vacuum Silk

Silk is the most delicate of rug materials. While silk rugs can benefit from vacuuming, you have to be careful. NEVER use the beater brush and vacuum in the direction of the pile. If you use the beater brush on a silk rug, you are likely to cause unsightly sprouting. Sprouting occurs when the yarns that make up the pile are pulled, resulting in white heads coming to the top of the rug where they are visible. When this happens, you need a professional to fix it.

How to Vacuum Cotton

Like silk, cotton is delicate. It’s better to vacuum without the beater brush.

How to Vacuum Wool

Wool rugs are generally the strongest of handmade rugs, they don’t shed easily. Because of this, you do not want to vacuum with the beater brush. Some people believe vacuuming wool rugs with the beater brush is okay, and helps minimize shedding. In reality, you are breaking off fibers that were not ready to shed, which can lead to sprouting and bald patches.

How to Vacuum Viscose or Artificial Silk

Viscose silk is quite delicate and breakable. Beater bar vacuums can exacerbate breakage, so use suction only for these rugs.

How to Vacuum Most Other Synthetic Fibers

Vacuums are great for lifting dirt from most synthetic fibers, such as polypropylene and nylon, and you can even use the beater brush! Call the experts at Behnam Rugs and let them know the exact fiber before vacuuming to be safe.

Always protect the fringes and side binding of your rug. The safest way to clean your rug is not to vacuum at all, and to instead use a sturdy, yet simple straw broom. Sweeping can improve the health of your rug.

Rug Cleaning: Preventing Wear and Tear on Your Persian and Oriental Rugs

Sweeping a rugRug Cleaning: Preventing Wear and Tear on Your Persian and Oriental Rugs

It’s important to maintain the cleanliness of your rug. This extends the life of it and makes it less likely that you’ll encounter problems dangerous to the livelihood of your rug such as moths.

How to Vacuum & Sweep

Know your rug and know your vacuum cleaner to see if they’re a good match

Depending on the material of your rug, you may need to be careful when vacuuming. If you have a silk rug, do not use the vacuum brush head. You may only use the brush-less suction extension on silk rugs or else you will damage the fabric. When in doubt, don’t use the beater brush, or call the professionals at Behnam Rugs at 972-733-0400. Improper vacuuming can cause unsightly sprouting, which is when the white yarn heads become visible due to pulling. 

Sweeping is another option for silk rugs, antique rugs, and rugs made with hand-spun yarn. Gently sweep to avoid damage to the fibers. Shaking the rug outside also removes dust and debris.

How to Rotate

Rugs generally need to be rotated once a year. If a rug is in a high traffic area, you may want to do this every six months. In addition, heavy sunlight, moisture, or pressure from furniture means you’ll want to rotate every six months as well. Remember, if you choose not to rotate your rug, it will experience uneven wear that becomes more noticeable the longer you go without rotating.

How to Choose Rug Padding

Make sure your rug has the proper padding to minimize wear. Rugs with heavy furniture sitting on them may need coasters. Ask us what kind to use. A rug over carpeting requires special padding. Padding increases the longevity of the rug and reduces the risk of falls.

How to Spot Clean

If your pet marks your rug, or you spill wine or food on your rug, take action immediately. To protect the integrity of your piece, never use carpet cleaners on a fine, handmade rug. These cleaners contain harsh chemicals that spell disaster for luxurious natural fibers. If you don’t notice the spill or are not able to immediately clean a spot from your rug, you may need an expert to clean it- make sure you choose the proper rug washing specialist. Behnam Rugs’ professionals remove almost 95% of spots and stains, regardless of the age of the imperfection. This leads us to the next maintenance option.

How to Choose a Professional Cleaner

Rugs need to be cleaned professionally every three to five years. Don’t neglect your rug! Regular cleaning is vital to its health and longevity. If you have pets, your rug may be full of dander and other particles that cause odors you may be nose-blind to. Call Behnam Rugs today at 972-733-0400 or request a free quote for rug cleaning. We specialize in odor removal and stain removal as well. Our traditional Persian hand washing methods are safe for silks and even antiques. Never take a fine handmade rug to a carpet cleaner. You should always work with a company whose specialty is rugs, not carpet.

How to Choose a Repairing Service

Say your rug is old and worn, has some sort of damage, or has been attacked by destructive cloth moths. Don’t fret, in most cases, your rug can be repaired. Call a reputable rug repair company, like Behnam Rugs, and ask for a free quote. Repairing your treasured rug is the best way to restore it to its former beauty. Behnam Rugs offers a host of repair options including patching, reweaving, binding restoration, fringe restoration and more. All rug restorations must be executed by an expert professional due to the complexity of these repairs. Reweaving and restoration are very costly so the sooner you get it fixed, the more money you save.

Learn more about your rug by attending our upcoming Estate Planning Brunch Seminar March 21st from 10 am to 1 pm at our showroom at 18000 Preston Road in Dallas.

How to Vacuum a Fine Handmade Rug

Vacuuming a rugVacuuming and Your Fine Handmade Rug

Caring for your fine handmade rug doesn’t have to be difficult, but it is important you do so properly. You need to approach cleaning armed with knowledge about your rug. Depending on the age and materials your rug is made of, you may or may not be able to vacuum your rug with the beater brush.

For example, an antique rug should never be vacuumed with the beater brush in almost any circumstance. However, if your rug is fairly new and has a dense, thick pile, the beater brush setting may be okay. In fact, it may even buff your rug and give it more shine. But choosing to use the beater brush must be done carefully and knowledgeably.

Wool is one of the materials that may become more lustrous with vacuuming. However, not all wool rugs should be vacuumed with the beater brush. Wool rugs should be gently vacuumed two to four times a month, as these rugs can shed easily.

If you have a silk rug, in most cases you should vacuum without the beater brush. Silk fibers are the most delicate of rug materials and can be damaged if you use a beater or roller brush. The pile can even be reduced and the rug itself may suffer damage such as sprouting. Silk rugs may be vacuumed as often as twice per week.

If your rug is not handmade, or if it is made of synthetic fibers, it may be okay to vacuum with the beater brush. Viscose silk, or artificial silk should be vacuumed with suction only.

Once a year, you should vacuum the back of your rug.

Another thing you can do to rejuvenate the pile of your rug is sweeping. This is the safest technique as opposed to vacuuming of any kind. Using a traditional straw broom, sweep in the direction of the nap. To determine the direction of the nap, rub your hand along the length (not the width) of the rug. You want to sweep in the direction where the pile comes towards you. Don’t sweep against the knap (the direction in which the pile goes away from you). Start sweeping in a corner of the rug, beginning in a corner where you do not end up walking on the swept portions.

If you aren’t sure about your rug, bring it to the experts at Behnam Rugs. We will share our generations of knowledge and expertise to with you, we will be able to let you know the best way to care for your fine rug, and whether vacuuming is recommended.

Never use the beater brush if you are unsure about its construction. This can lead to sprouting, which can be rectified by cutting the knot heads even with the length of the pile. However, this can still mean your pile is depleted, leaving you with a thinner rug although the knot heads will no longer be visible. It is quite difficult to thicken a rug that has been thinned by sprouting. When in doubt, don’t use the beater brush!

Are Robotic Vacuums Safe for Rugs?

Roomba damaging a rugRobotic Vacuums are not Rug Safe

It’s a tale as old as time- a customer brings their fine handmade rug in for repairs at Behnam Rugs because they believe their dog has chewed it. While this does happen, the more likely culprit is actually your vacuum cleaner, especially automatic robot vacuums. Robotic vacuums spell disaster for your precious rugs.

Rug Damage: How to Tell the Difference Between Pet Damage and Vacuum Damage

So, how can I tell if Spot chewed my rug or if the vacuum cleaner is to blame?

Well, when dogs chew on rugs, they typically remove whatever they have been chewing on completely, leaving a torn spot. Whereas robotic vacuums and vacuuming with a beater brush chews up the edges of your rug but leaves the damage without removing it. These machines almost always damage the corners of a rug. They can’t tell a stray piece of yarn from handmade fringe, which is the first casualty when it comes to robotic vacuum damage. Still unsure if your dog is responsible for the damage or the vacuum? Check out the image below.

Rug chewed by dog

As you can see, the dog damage looks like someone hacked the edge off the rug with very dull scissors. On the other hand, the vacuum damage creates torn fringe and a look that says, “I’ve been chewed up!” Robotic vacuums and the beater brush simply don’t have enough power to remove the damage they cause. Instead, they chew the edges without removing them, resulting in tears, damaged fringe, and general unraveling.

So, what can you do to prevent vacuum casualties? Don’t use robotic vacuums! And never vacuum with the beater brush. You may be wondering how you will clean your fine rug. Luckily, vacuuming is completely safe when vacuuming without an extension or beater brush. Sadly, it’s probably time to retire your robotic vacuum. However, having to put a bit more effort into cleaning your home is a small price to pay for a rug in perfect condition. As for dog damage, this is harder to prevent. Keeping an eye on your pet and not leaving them unsupervised with a fine rug is about the extent of preventative measures.

If your fine handmade rug has been chewed up by vacuum or dog, don’t despair! Bring it to the experts at Behnam Rugs. Most damage done by these culprits can be repaired. The value of your rug won’t be the same, but repairs can restore at least some of the worth to your rug.